I know it's fashionable on this Blog to trash the Knicks and anything they have to offer. But, we have to remember, Melo is a FREE AGENT in about 30 games, and to get this kind of young talent, with reasonable contracts, and a pick, it has be considered a win for the Nuggets. It's not a dollar for dollar win - - the Nuggs were never going to get that. But, if the Knicks deal goes through, with Felton, Gallo, Chandler, Curry and a First going to Denver, Kroenke and Ujiri have to be viewed as having done about as well as possible for the franchise in the wake of Melo's free agency. Ask the fans in Cleveland how great this trade is for Denver. And, I for one was not thrilled with the idea of Favors being a conerstone of the Nuggs future. He is looking more and more like the Shelden WIlliams of this past draft. With this trade:
1) The Nuggs don't have to decide on Billups team option next season. No way were they going to pay Billups 14 million next year, and this way the Knicks have to make that call on the local sports legend. I still think it is possible Billups is a Free Agent this summer and comes back to Denver on 2 year deal at a reasonable rate.
2) Gallo is a Poor Man's Melo - Gallo is a scorer, like Melo, and has the ability to get to the line, like Melo. In terms of replacing Melo's scoring ability, that was not going to happen with any trade, but I predict Gallo becomes a fan favorite in Denver with his hustle and scoring ability. The kid works hard and wants to win. (GALLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! will be echoing through The Can.) Gallo has a ton of upside - he still is very young - and it says something that Walsh and Dantoni did not want to include him in this deal. (Thank you James Dolan) .
3) Wilson Chandler Gives the Nuggs Legitimate Talent at Small or Power Forward - Chandler can really play and will make a great 6th man, who can play multiple positions. He is what we need off the bench - - NOT Al "Big Bust" Harrington. Nuggets and WC can decide over the next 30 games whether there is a long-term fit in Denver or not. If he wants out, a sign and trade after the CBA is likely, with more picks/players coming to Denver. Too bad Harrington is not tradeable at this point (unless included in a package with Nene).
4) Felton gives the Nuggets a legitimate starting PG who will instantly click with Karl and Lawson and the rest of his new teammates. The guy has really stepped up his game this year, and is just a solid, if unspectacular, floor leader. He will be able to get the ball to Nene, JR, AAA, and Kmart in the right spots. The Carolina Combo at PG will be one of the better 1-2 PG combos in the League. He has an excellent contract which will allow the Nuggs to decide whether Ty is the PG of the Future or not, and have a decent back-up plan with Felton. Karl is going to fall in love with this guy.
5) Curry - simply a throw-in for salary cap reasons, but the Knicks have been raving about the weight he has lost and how is looking in practice. If nothing else, this gives the Nuggs another big body that when healthy, does have decent skills in the post. I suspect he will be better than Ely and maybe Bird. He is not likely to stick after this year, but he will give the Nuggets great cap flexibility when his contract expires in 30 games.
6) Pick - The pick will give Denver a decent selection in the next draft, which is admitttedly weak. It will be good to see what Ujiri can do with a couple of 1st Rounders - - talent evaluation is supposed to be his specialty. This means the Nuggets bring in a couple of young prospects from the draft, or have a first to include in a future trade.
All in all, this deal gives the Nuggs quality, if unspectacular, assets for a player that wants out anyway. And, thought we will be called the "Knick-ets" for a while this trade reminds me a bit of the Kiki trade with Portland in the 80's where Denver received solid, if unspectacular assets for one of the League's best scorers. With its new found depth, and chemestry, the Nuggs zoomed to the Western Conference Finals after the trade. It will be fun to watch how Karl makes these pieces work without the Melo distraction looming over the team. There is no doubt the Nuggs are going to be a deeper and less selfish team after this deal. Let's get this done!